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The Pledge

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In this electric conclusion to the Edgar-nominated trilogy, Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good. Things are looking up for Detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s settled into a happy marriage and been promoted to Sergeant in the Dallas Police Department. But when a hostage stand-off puts her on the phone with legendary cartel leader In this electric conclusion to the Edgar-nominated trilogy, Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good. Things are looking up for Detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s settled into a happy marriage and been promoted to Sergeant in the Dallas Police Department. But when a hostage stand-off puts her on the phone with legendary cartel leader The Knife, things take a turn. The Knife has heard a rival is making a play for the streets of Dallas—none other than Evangeline Roy. The matriarch of a ruthless cult, Evangeline also happens to hold a personal vendetta against Betty. So who better to draw Evangeline out of hiding? Betty’s got two weeks to catch her. Or else. With Betty’s young charge Mary Grace already missing—having left her seven-month-old baby behind in Betty’s care—and the drug dealers of Dallas donning strange red wigs and delivering cryptic messages, Betty’s in a race for answers. With the clock ticking down, it will take everything she’s got to finally put an end to Evangeline’s reign of terror, and to keep her beloved Dallas—and her own family—safe at last.


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In this electric conclusion to the Edgar-nominated trilogy, Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good. Things are looking up for Detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s settled into a happy marriage and been promoted to Sergeant in the Dallas Police Department. But when a hostage stand-off puts her on the phone with legendary cartel leader In this electric conclusion to the Edgar-nominated trilogy, Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good. Things are looking up for Detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s settled into a happy marriage and been promoted to Sergeant in the Dallas Police Department. But when a hostage stand-off puts her on the phone with legendary cartel leader The Knife, things take a turn. The Knife has heard a rival is making a play for the streets of Dallas—none other than Evangeline Roy. The matriarch of a ruthless cult, Evangeline also happens to hold a personal vendetta against Betty. So who better to draw Evangeline out of hiding? Betty’s got two weeks to catch her. Or else. With Betty’s young charge Mary Grace already missing—having left her seven-month-old baby behind in Betty’s care—and the drug dealers of Dallas donning strange red wigs and delivering cryptic messages, Betty’s in a race for answers. With the clock ticking down, it will take everything she’s got to finally put an end to Evangeline’s reign of terror, and to keep her beloved Dallas—and her own family—safe at last.

30 review for The Pledge

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Shayne-Train

    Just as amazing as the first in the series. A likeable, well-written and tough protagonist trying like heck to protect the ones she loves in a gritty police procedural set in Texas with strong LGBTQ+ themes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Martz

    If this is indeed the conclusion of the Betty Rhyzyk (pronounced just like it's spelled!) series, what a way to go. "The Pledge" is a barn-burner of a read, one I had a real problem putting down and nearly knocked out in a day. Betty Rhyzyk, as you should know, is a rare bird of a Texas cop. She's a New York City transplant, 6' tall, red-headed, an out-lesbian, Polish-American, with a take-no-prisoners approach and more testosterone than most of her male peers. She's just been promoted to detecti If this is indeed the conclusion of the Betty Rhyzyk (pronounced just like it's spelled!) series, what a way to go. "The Pledge" is a barn-burner of a read, one I had a real problem putting down and nearly knocked out in a day. Betty Rhyzyk, as you should know, is a rare bird of a Texas cop. She's a New York City transplant, 6' tall, red-headed, an out-lesbian, Polish-American, with a take-no-prisoners approach and more testosterone than most of her male peers. She's just been promoted to detective sergeant and, along with her longtime girlfriend, is helping to raise a baby belonging to a young woman, Mary Grace, she rescued from the streets. There's a lot going on in The Pledge. Betty's boarder and her baby disappear at about the same time she discovers that her nemeses have not forgotten about her. Evangeline Roy, the drug dealing, faith healing psycho is back in metro Dallas and cartel leader El Cuchillo (The Knife) wants Betty to either find Roy within 2 weeks because she's spoiling his business model or he'll wipe out Betty's entire family. Betty has both physical and mental scars from dealing with these two fine folks in the two prior novels in the series. So The Pledge follows two story lines: the efforts to find the missing Mary Grace and her baby and Betty's time-bound search for the elusive but always seemingly nearby Evangeline Roy. Betty's ascension to the sergeant position both helps her and hurts her, since she has more resources available to her and a more decision-making role. She also, though, is responsible for others on her team and has to work through the challenges, such as her heavily experienced new team member from Chicago who she discovers is a real whacko. In the end, scores are settled and mysteries solved. The writing and story in The Pledge are as propulsive as can be. The pace just never lets up, which makes sense since Rhyzyk literally has 2 weeks to protect her family by locating Roy. There is an abundance of violence balanced on occasion with Betty's remembrances of her NYC family and her interactions with her girlfriend and her detective partner. I still marvel at the amount of brutality and physical damage Betty faces through the series as well as her ability to function on what seems like 2 hours of sleep over a 2 week period. The Pledge is a dynamite conclusion to a fine series. 4.5 stars rounded up!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    4.5 The Pledge is newly released third entry in Kathleen Kent's "Detective Betty" trilogy. Just when Dallas Detective Betty Rhyzyk thinks life has settled down, the past comes back to bite her - again. A cartel leader who goes by the name of The Knife gives her an ultimatum. Betty has two weeks to find their shared enemy, cult leader Evangeline Roy, or Betty and her family will pay the price. Betty and her wife Jackie have taken in Mary Grace, a young mother of a seven month old girl. But Mary Gr 4.5 The Pledge is newly released third entry in Kathleen Kent's "Detective Betty" trilogy. Just when Dallas Detective Betty Rhyzyk thinks life has settled down, the past comes back to bite her - again. A cartel leader who goes by the name of The Knife gives her an ultimatum. Betty has two weeks to find their shared enemy, cult leader Evangeline Roy, or Betty and her family will pay the price. Betty and her wife Jackie have taken in Mary Grace, a young mother of a seven month old girl. But Mary Grace has gone on the run again, leaving the baby behind. So, suffice it to say, Betty's plate is pretty full. The Pledge takes place over the course of those two weeks. The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book. The action is non-top and makes for page turning, late night reading. I really like Betty as a lead character - she's tough, smart, fearless and her family is her first priority. I gotta say she really takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The amount of injuries and lack of sleep she amasses over the two weeks is pretty impressive. And yes, a wee bit unbelievable. But hey, just go with it - the plotting is pretty darn good with some truly nasty antagonists and a number of subplots that are slowly but surely woven together.The supporting cast is good as well. Betty's wife Jackie is the voice of reason. Betty's squad is back as well, with her partner Seth and a new transfer with an attitude. I really liked the two women private investigators Rocky and Peg. I was quite saddened to hear that The Pledge is the end of the Betty books. Kent ties up all the loose ends in this last entry. If you've read Michael Connelly's Renée Ballard character, you'll enjoy Detective Betty. And I wonder what Kent will write next? Her first two books were historical fiction and are well worth a read as well. Maybe some more crime with the two PI's? Whatever it is, I'll be picking it up!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Book 3 of the Betty R. Series- so sad to see it end. All 3 books are great! Excellent thrillers with great characters

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    I’ve really enjoyed traveling vicariously to Dallas with Kathleen Kent’s superb trilogy starring Detective Betty Rhyzyk of the Dallas Police Department. With THE PLEDGE, Kent concludes the series she began with THE DIME while giving Betty her most complex and personal case yet. At the end of THE BURN, Betty and her partner Jackie unexpectedly welcomed a homeless and pregnant teen, Mary Grace, into their home. As this new volume opens, Mary Grace has given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth. Although I’ve really enjoyed traveling vicariously to Dallas with Kathleen Kent’s superb trilogy starring Detective Betty Rhyzyk of the Dallas Police Department. With THE PLEDGE, Kent concludes the series she began with THE DIME while giving Betty her most complex and personal case yet. At the end of THE BURN, Betty and her partner Jackie unexpectedly welcomed a homeless and pregnant teen, Mary Grace, into their home. As this new volume opens, Mary Grace has given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth. Although she initially seemed to be embracing her role as the baby’s mother and caregiver, she has now abruptly disappeared. Jackie is more than ready to apply for permanent guardianship of the child. Betty desperately wants to support her partner but isn’t quite sure she’s up to the job, especially since the baby hasn’t exactly warmed to her yet. When Mary Grace’s wealthy and powerful stepfather starts making noises about wanting custody of the girl and threatens legal action, Betty is legitimately torn about whether or not she really wants to throw their life’s savings into a custody dispute that they’re unlikely to win. It doesn’t help that Betty’s professional life is in upheaval, too. Her partner Seth is back on the job, but it’s going to take some work to rebuild the trust between them that’s been damaged in the past. Speaking of trust, Betty has been promoted but feels increasingly alienated from her team, especially a new detective from Chicago who appears to lack all respect for his new boss. The narcotics division is investigating a Honduran gang making inroads into the Dallas narcotics scene --- with one very surprising connection to Evangeline Roy, Betty’s nemesis who seems bent on revenge for the death of her two sons. Soon Betty --- increasingly both haunted and helped by the voice of her mentor and late uncle Benny --- is on the cusp of emotional and physical exhaustion as she contends with all of the mounting pressures, especially as it becomes clear that her family members are in grave danger. It will probably surprise no one (at least not longtime mystery readers) that the various strands of Betty’s personal and professional crises are, in fact, related. What is surprising is the ways in which those connections play out --- and this reader, at least, was fooled more than once by the red herrings littered throughout this propulsive novel. Betty’s story, particularly her vendetta against Evangeline Roy, is satisfyingly concluded by the end of THE PLEDGE. But Kent continues to develop her characters, including supporting players like Seth, right up until the end of the book. Readers might hold out hope that this won’t be the last time they tour the mean streets of Dallas with Detective Betty. Reviewed by Norah Piehl

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. The Pledge by Kathleen Kent is an action-packed mystery. This third installment in the Detective Betty series can easily be read as a standalone. Detective Sergeant Betty Rhyzyk is a little unsettled that she and her wife, Dr. Jackie Nesbitt, are taking care of missing teenager Mary Grace’s seven-month-old daughter Elizabeth. She hires private detective team Peg Bartles and Rocky Bentner to try to locate Mary Grace. Betty’s attention is then focused on finding her nemesis, cult leader a 4.5 stars. The Pledge by Kathleen Kent is an action-packed mystery. This third installment in the Detective Betty series can easily be read as a standalone. Detective Sergeant Betty Rhyzyk is a little unsettled that she and her wife, Dr. Jackie Nesbitt, are taking care of missing teenager Mary Grace’s seven-month-old daughter Elizabeth. She hires private detective team Peg Bartles and Rocky Bentner to try to locate Mary Grace. Betty’s attention is then focused on finding her nemesis, cult leader and drug dealer Evangeline Roy, within the two-week time-frame designated by Sineloa drug enforcer El Cuchillo. Evangeline is back in Texas and her drug business is encroaching on the Sineloan cartel's territory. Betty has experienced near deadly encounters with both and she takes El Cuchillo’s threats seriously. Aided by her team and her partner Detective Seth “Riot” Dutton, Betty is in a race against time to locate Evangeline before she harms any of her loved ones. Betty is a tough woman who works tirelessly to locate Evangeline Roy. She is also very worried about Mary Grace who inexplicably disappeared with no warning. Betty is uneasy about the thought of parenthood but she will do anything to protect Elizabeth. While she and the rest of the detectives working with her are in the midst of tracking down Evangeline, Mary Grace’s stepfather demands to know where Mary Grace and her baby are. Betty is not intimidated by the wealthy and well-connected property developer and she has no intention of giving in to his demands. The Pledge is a riveting mystery with plenty of edge of the seat scenes. Betty is fearless in her pursuit of Evangeline but her adversary proves to be elusive. Jackie is patient with Betty but she definitely feels the strain of worry over Mary Grace’s whereabouts and her wife’s latest investigation. Although Seth always has Betty’s back, he is not always on board with some of her decisions. With Betty’s two-week deadline coming to a close, Kathleen Kent brings this suspense-laden mystery to a spine-tingling conclusion. Old and new fans do not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to the Detective Betty series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    This one followed the same pattern as the Hunger Games trilogy: interesting first book followed by an excellent second and a concluding one that basically made me say “Eh, ok, I guess that’s an ending.” Part of why I loved (indeed loved) The Burn, the second book in the Betty Rhyzyk trilogy, is because I thought Kathleen Kent did an excellent job covering Betty’s PTSD from the end of the events of the first book. Too often, series writers put their characters through hell only to have them shrug This one followed the same pattern as the Hunger Games trilogy: interesting first book followed by an excellent second and a concluding one that basically made me say “Eh, ok, I guess that’s an ending.” Part of why I loved (indeed loved) The Burn, the second book in the Betty Rhyzyk trilogy, is because I thought Kathleen Kent did an excellent job covering Betty’s PTSD from the end of the events of the first book. Too often, series writers put their characters through hell only to have them shrug off their circumstances in time for the next book. Kent went the opposite direction: making Betty’s recovery (or lack thereof) the focus and it made the story all the more better. I felt more settled in Betty’s narrative and was excited to see how Kent was going to bring this trilogy to a close, especially after the wild turn it took in the final third of the first book to set the stage for everything. And she provided an ending. It’s fine. It just took a lot of tire spinning to get there, particularly when the bulk of the scenes in the first half of the book are Betty and the gang just chasing random dealers who may or may not be connected to Evangeline Roy. The second half takes some twists and turns, some more interesting than others. There’s a B-plot connected to the second book that I found too contrived and unnecessary. But Kent is a good writer. Even if I didn’t agree with all of her decisions, I liked her style with thriller writing and how she brought it all home. It’s not the ending I really wanted, but it is an ending and it’s fine. And this was a good trilogy. I’m not sure I need more betty but I’d love to see Kent spin off her private eye characters into a new series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In book 3, Betty and Jackie are taking care of the baby Elizabeth because her mother, Mary Grace, seems to have run away. Betty finds out Evangeline Roy is back in Dallas and still holds a vendetta against her for killing her beloved sons. El Cuchillo contacts Betty and says she needs to take Evangeline down because she is impeding on his drug business. She has two weeks to find the red-headed drug kingpin or he will take down everyone Betty loves. And on top of that Mary Grace's stepfather is s In book 3, Betty and Jackie are taking care of the baby Elizabeth because her mother, Mary Grace, seems to have run away. Betty finds out Evangeline Roy is back in Dallas and still holds a vendetta against her for killing her beloved sons. El Cuchillo contacts Betty and says she needs to take Evangeline down because she is impeding on his drug business. She has two weeks to find the red-headed drug kingpin or he will take down everyone Betty loves. And on top of that Mary Grace's stepfather is suing her for custody of Elizabeth. This is one of my favorite police procedural mystery series. Betty is a badass cop with so much passion and loyalty. She is like a freight train with the brake line cut stopping at nothing to get the bad guy and protect the ones she loves. Betty is not without faults, which is what I like about her. She can get one tracked minded and not pay her partner the attention that she deserves, which makes her so human and relatable. And the bad guys are So Evil. Evangeline Roy is back in this installment of the series, causing Betty so much trouble. Kent is so good at writing action scenes. You are dropped right into the police foot chase as they search for assailant, dodging bullets and jumping fences right along with them. You get to know the characters so well too and feel so much emotion when one of them is lost. Betty is a special character and I hope we get more books in this series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I liked this book more than the first and second in the series. Detective Betty Rhyzyk is working in the Dallas police department and Evangeline has come back into her life. Mary Grace, a girl Betty has taken in along with her baby has disappeared leaving her baby behind. The baby has not taken to Betty, but her partner loves the baby and wants to keep her. Betty is being threatened by a drug dealer and by Evangeline. People who work for her and her partner are in danger. The drug dealer says if I liked this book more than the first and second in the series. Detective Betty Rhyzyk is working in the Dallas police department and Evangeline has come back into her life. Mary Grace, a girl Betty has taken in along with her baby has disappeared leaving her baby behind. The baby has not taken to Betty, but her partner loves the baby and wants to keep her. Betty is being threatened by a drug dealer and by Evangeline. People who work for her and her partner are in danger. The drug dealer says if she does not find Evangeline by the dead line, he will kill those chose to her. Good, fast paced book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance e-galley for honest review. 4.5ish stars, rounded up. I am both relieved and sad to see this trilogy come to an end. Relieved, because Betty Rhyzyk has been through too much to push her through more stories (Betty, it's time for some therapy, okay?). Sad, because this is a truly excellent procedural series, and Betty is one of those characters that has really gotten under my skin. Don't try to read this as a standalone, there is too much hist Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance e-galley for honest review. 4.5ish stars, rounded up. I am both relieved and sad to see this trilogy come to an end. Relieved, because Betty Rhyzyk has been through too much to push her through more stories (Betty, it's time for some therapy, okay?). Sad, because this is a truly excellent procedural series, and Betty is one of those characters that has really gotten under my skin. Don't try to read this as a standalone, there is too much history to pick up on all of it without going back. If you are a fan of gritty police dramas, I haven't read many that are as good as this one is.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    A strong end to this trilogy. Detective Betty Rhyzyk, seems to have it all together, with her job, her wife and a ward with her baby. But, her doubts about the baby, are all too real, until the mom and baby disappear. These may or may not be linked to 2 different enemies that she's made, through her job. Betty is smart, and an excellent police detective, and the leader her team needs. Not only is the plot, a page turner, the character development is just top notch. For readers of Attica Locke an A strong end to this trilogy. Detective Betty Rhyzyk, seems to have it all together, with her job, her wife and a ward with her baby. But, her doubts about the baby, are all too real, until the mom and baby disappear. These may or may not be linked to 2 different enemies that she's made, through her job. Betty is smart, and an excellent police detective, and the leader her team needs. Not only is the plot, a page turner, the character development is just top notch. For readers of Attica Locke and Michael Connelly.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Detective Sergeant Betty Rhyzyk of the Dallas Police Department is beset by problems – both from her job and personal. Evangeline Roy, a cult leaders wants her dead; she is being threatened by a notorious drug leader, and she and her wife are now responsible for a seven-month-old infant abandoned in their care. Non-stop action and great characters. A must read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    3.5 stars! The third book in the Detective Betty series is compelling. The action takes place over two weeks in Dallas, TX as Betty and team search for Evangeline Roy. Betty and Jackie have taken in Mary Grace and her baby. I never got around to reading the first book in the series, The Dime. Perhaps, I need to go back at some point and remedy that. Recommended!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Detective Betty Rhyzyk is a detective in Dallas. She killed the two sons of a drug dealer who is now after her and anybody who is important to her. Betty finally tracks down Evangeline. Betty's teenage charge disappears and leaves her 7 month old baby. Betty is now looking for Mary Grace. Then the nanny and the baby disappear. Detective Betty Rhyzyk is a detective in Dallas. She killed the two sons of a drug dealer who is now after her and anybody who is important to her. Betty finally tracks down Evangeline. Betty's teenage charge disappears and leaves her 7 month old baby. Betty is now looking for Mary Grace. Then the nanny and the baby disappear.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Mystery / Thriller *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Pledge is the third and final installment in author Kathleen Kent's Betty Rhyzyk trilogy. Things are looking up for Betty Rhyzyk. She’s been promoted to Detective Sergeant in the Dallas Police Narcotics Department. She now has her own team including a transplant with an attitude from Chicago. She's in a stable relationship with Dr. Jackie Nesbitt that has managed to last 10 years even with all the ups and downs and experienc *Source* Publisher *Genre* Mystery / Thriller *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Pledge is the third and final installment in author Kathleen Kent's Betty Rhyzyk trilogy. Things are looking up for Betty Rhyzyk. She’s been promoted to Detective Sergeant in the Dallas Police Narcotics Department. She now has her own team including a transplant with an attitude from Chicago. She's in a stable relationship with Dr. Jackie Nesbitt that has managed to last 10 years even with all the ups and downs and experiences of the past year and living in Texas. She's even helping to raise a baby, Elizabeth, belonging to a young woman, Mary Grace, who she rescued from the streets. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marylou Condike

    Couldn’t put it down! Kent keeps you guessing as she pulls you though the story, one twist and turn after another. Her deep POV put me in Betty’s kick-ass shoes more than once and made me feel Betty’s anger, pain, and fears as if they were mine. Great job!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret L. Hedman

    Excellent. I loved The Pledge. The action never stops. There is nowhere in the book to catch your breath and take a break. Wow! The final twist in the end really caught me off guard.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Book 2 felt like Betty was starting to move forward and had a strong support system, but this book inexplicably took much of that away from her. It felt like a step backwards in the storytelling for this character and for Mary Grace's as well. Book 2 felt like Betty was starting to move forward and had a strong support system, but this book inexplicably took much of that away from her. It felt like a step backwards in the storytelling for this character and for Mary Grace's as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annmarie

    A good writer. I enjoyed the book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela Brower

    Never have I enjoyed a series more! Kathleen Kent show writes characters that are so easy to root for and I hard a hard time putting each book down once I started them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim David

    Made me want to re-read the three-book series as soon as I finished. Can't wait to see this come to the big screen (fingers crossed). Made me want to re-read the three-book series as soon as I finished. Can't wait to see this come to the big screen (fingers crossed).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Real characters, authentic voices, non-stop action.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    BETTY!!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A great series! Heartfelt and action packed, Kathleen Kent is not afraid to “go for it” in this series. I cannot wait for the next detective Betty book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Speece

    #3 in this great Detective Betty series. Highly recommend this gritty murder series set in Dallas.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    While detective Betty’s storyline . is a bit improbable it was enjoyable nonetheless. It is nice having a lesbian detective and yes she has the required detective baggage but it feels real.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hn

    5 stars A wonderful conclusion to one of my most favorite series ever though I wish this wasn’t the last one. I’ll miss Betty so much!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pegi Morgan

    love this series

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mona

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy L.

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